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Personal Development

10 Ways to Be Your OWN Boss In The Lab

In an ideal world, every PI would be a nurturing and challenging mentor who carefully guides your project and is invested in developing your skills as a scientist. In the real world, however, that kind of leadership can be hard to find. In any case, one of the most important and useful mental steps you…

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When Your Partner is NOT a scientist

A recent  article published by The Scientist called Power Couples gave advice and examples for scientist couples who have successfully balanced their life at home and in the lab.  It was interesting from the perspective of how two very busy and career motivated people work together to have it all: raise a family, run a lab, and stay in love…

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Becoming an Expert, Brick by Brick

As a newcomer to a research lab, looking at the seasoned, experiment-beaten postdocs around you, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the task of acquiring their level of knowledge and expertise, and of making any sort of impact within the lab and wider community, is huge and daunting. But…

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Take it Easy – Learn by Osmosis

Undergrad courses teach you to learn in a specific way. You have to cram in as much information into your brain as possible, hold it in there, then regurgitate as much of it as possible on exam day. Of course, actually understanding what you are talking about, and working from basic principles, helps but the…

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Why You Shouldn’t Worry about Getting Results

Everyone is worried about getting results, aren’t they? Results are what you need for success in science – they are essential for bringing the funding in. But focusing on results per se is not a good way to work because, as a scientist, you can’t “get” results. You can’t “make” them happen. Essentially in every…

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Are you growing in your career?

Where do you want to be, career-wise, in 1, 3, 5 or 10 years? Is the position you are in at the moment helping you to reach that goal, or are you stagnating? These are questions I think everyone should be asking themselves at least a couple of times a year. Career Growth During Study…

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How To Become A World Expert In Your Field

Only a handful of people ever become world experts in their field. The rest attain somewhere between a functional and world expert level of knowledge. So what makes the best better than the rest? Are they born with greater knowledge? Intelligence? Inner strength? Well, the latter is the more likely. Although some world experts are…

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10 Simple Rules For Doing Your Best Research

Last month, Thomas C. Erren and colleagues published an editorial in PLoS Computational Biology entitled 10 simple rules for doing your best research, according to Hamming. The article provides some great philosophical guidance on setting out to do great research, drawing on advice given by the mathematician Richard Hamming during a Bell Communications Research Colloquium…

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Time to Think

Spare a thought for your poor over-worked neurons. In the information age, they are bombarded with input from the moment they are dragged into consciousness by the radio alarm clock each morning then throughout the day by e-mail, Google searches, RSS feeds, mobile phones, newspapers, books, blogs and more. In the post genomic era, it’s…

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